Friday, July 27, 2012
Just One of Many
The fog had lifted just enough for him to use his flashlight to signal what he assumed was a Soviet sub. His red light was barely visible to someone on shore but readable for his intended target. If the coast was clear he was to pass on a short string of numbers by pointing his flashlight directly East from a certain point on the shore. He had no idea but he suspected that he was not the only one doing this. His handler said that some kind of vessel would be watching and when he got a message passed to him he was supposed to relay that string of numbers to the night on the exact minute past the hour that corresponded to yesterdays date. He would get no response.
He was told that others would receive a response but not he and that would be the check on if his message got through. So far he and the other unknown communist sympathizers were performing as directed. His handler contacted him by what they called a dead drop and it was rotated. I was usually just a newspaper, a wadded up piece of butchers paper etc. just something innocuous that could be written on and a short string of numbers would sometimes be hidden in some other text or sometimes not. The hand writing seemed to be different every time. So far he had only been given and sent 13 messages.
The Home Guard had been given the task of once again patrolling the coastlines. He was a long time member of the Home Guard and hated the Nazis with a passion. He also hated capitalism for the things it had done to his family. His father died in the coal mines that refused to install the safety measures that killed him. He was crushed in a cave in that was easily prevented. His brother was currently suffering from Black Lung disease and would not see another Christmas. To be fair he was a repository of hundreds horrific industrial accidents and safety violations for the union and this tainted his view of the world. It was hard to look at report after report of severed limbs, preventable diseases, horrific working conditions and not be affected by what he saw. He was keeping a list of the names of the people responsible so that when the communists took over they could be prosecuted for their crimes.
And he wanted that day to come. Britain needed a cleansing like France during her revolution. The monarchy and the House of Lords would be the first to lose everything. He did not wish for their lives but he did wish for their being introduced to justice. He belonged to no Communist organizations and was approached after remarks in a pub far from home. He suspected that they had played on his position with the union and had been watching him. He was not outspoken and the Government could hardly lock up or prevent every union member from being in the armed forces or the Home Guard.
The Home Guard presented itself as the best way for him at age 54 to prevent the Nazis' from invading his homeland. It also was the best thing he could do to see that the communists to dealt out justice to those who deserved it. There were a lot of communist sympathizers in Britain than people realized but not many joined the party. Like him they were not that blatantly political and kept their cards close to the vest. He was assured that the Soviets would not invade but just wanted to force Britain into neutrality and to hasten a home grown communist government.
It took him 15 seconds to flash the message and then he continued his rounds. He made it look like he was urinating. Him carrying the flashlight was not suspicious as it was part of this equipment. I was always the longest 15 seconds of his life and now it was over until the next time. He moved on and did his job just like always. He always took a piss at the same spot and always took 15 seconds.
He has no idea what he was sending. Just numbers to him but if he can help to bring the criminals to justice who have put so many families in dire straits by killing and maiming their men then he was glad to do it. Justice for the untouchable aristocrats had to be meted out. He didn't know the right communist terminology but he was all for it. The workers needed to be avenged and united against the aristocrats and the sooner the better. It was time for a change.